Aphid Data



Here is our data so far. We are now working on transferring the raw data into the final form!

Aphid Transfer Protocol

In case we need help 🙂

Petri dish
mesh bags
twist ties
a partner!

1. Sync visor, get randomized plant (row and position) from Hillary.
2. Collect aphids from several plants in Common Garden. Find leaves with fat, dark aphids (aka mature). Gently disturb aphids with brush tip. When aphids start to scurry (remove stylets), brush them gently into the petri dish. Do not mash them by rubbing paintbrush against the plastic (attempting to dislodge them).
3. When approximately 20 mature aphids have been collected (not including tiny green ones), find assigned plant.
4. Check transfer plant for ants and aphids and record presence in form.
5. Find a suitable leaf (close to ground and small enough to fit in bag) that is free of any ants and aphids (if there are no empty leaves, squish present aphids).
6. Prepare bag over most of the leaf (opening bag and pulling over leaf). Then lift the bag up enough to stick the aphids in.
7. Transfer two random aphids to the top of the leaf (one big aphid and one slightly smaller). It works best if one partner holds the leaf and bag and the other transfers the aphids. Then the bag holder pulls the bag down and the transferrer twists the tie.
8. Pull bag completely over leaf and gently twist tie it closed. Avoid strangling the leaf or squishing or dislodging the aphids.
9. If aphids take a death plunge or fall off make sure they are not in the bag and transfer additional aphids as needed.

Aphid Improvements

It’s been quite a while so there is lots of good news on the aphid front! First of all, aphid casualties have decreased substantially thanks to improved transfer methods. We have now been using a paint brush to gently disturb and brush the aphids into a petri dish (upon the suggestion of Dr. George E Heimpel). This is far less traumatizing for the aphids and survival has skyrocketed from 20% to around 50%!
Also, fortunately for us, apparently all aphids at this time of the year are gravid, so we only need to select mature individuals for transferring. This was an exciting discovery since we spent a while with a microscope trying to figure out which ones were gravid before this revelation. We also officially decided to use two founders for each transfer to improve chances of survival.
Hillary and I are looking forward to checking out the preliminary data soon!

Aphid Abundance Project Proposal! WOOOOOOO!

Hi I’m Lauren Hobbs. I am from a town in Wisconsin almost as small as K-town (aka Williams Bay). I attend UVA and am a psych major. Hence I am learning a lot already!! Fortunately, I found a friend here to work with!

Hi! My name is Hillary Lyons and I am from Olympia, WA. I am a biology major from Carleton College. I really like muskoxen.